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Dems Hope Race Across US-Mexico Border Will Ease Building Tension Over Trade

Patrick Temple-West - Politico
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August 9, 2015
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As Donald Trump and the GOP presidential field call for locking down the Mexican border, on Saturday, more than 900 American and Mexican runners raced back and forth across it.

The runners all made their crossings with valid passports, and race organizers, along with Obama administration officials and Democratic lawmakers in attendance, hoped the event would highlight the value of cross-border trade and the need for strong business ties between the two nations.

“For us, it’s less of a discussion about border security, which seems to take up all the oxygen in the media, and more about international trade and travel,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said in an interview.

For the first time since before 9/11, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez hosted a race where passports were perhaps as important as staying hydrated. The finish line was purposely located at the Paso Del Norte Bridge, a border crossing, and runners stood in line with other travelers to have their documentation checked by Customs and Border Protection officials.

The race capped an annual, pro-business conference that for the first time this year was split between El Paso and Juarez. In addition to Kerlikowske, the Commerce Secretary also spoke at the conference for the first time in its existence.

While Republicans hammer the border region for being lawless and dangerous, several Democrats are hoping to shift the discussion away from security issues.

Read the rest at Politico

Photo: Patrick Temple-West/Politico

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